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Logical but eye-opening arguments held up by great examples

  • Nov 30, 2008
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+5
For me, Gladwell's books are very engaging. It's like he is solving an almost unsolvable puzzle in front of your eyes and is actually going to share the secret with you this time! It's very rewarding to read. Though Outliers is no Tipping Point (my favorite) it still works in just the same way.

Gladwell talks about people who just because of a different set of circumstances end up doing far better than their equal counterpart, a bit of the nature vs. nurture debate comes into play in my mind. Yes, some of his findings end up being pretty logical but they are not connections I would have made on my own without tons of thought. He uses a variety of examples to make his case.

I really liked the hockey tryout cut-off date example he uses. Because of the hockey tryout cut-off date of January 1st in Canada, people born in the few months following that always end up getting picked because they are the largest and most mature of all the people trying out. And then because they get picked and get the training that makes them the champions they become.

A frightening section is one where Gladwell talks about plane crashes. We get to read snippets of black box recordings and it's crazy how restrained some people in the cockpit were moments before a crash. Because, according to Gladwell, their culture has told them to behave in a certain way and to respect authority or higher-ups even if the higher up is in the wrong. I could go on and on listing all the examples because they all added something to his argument.

I thought it was smart how Gladwell uses his own family as an example because throughout the book he's basically making a case for how someone can't be a genius all on their own (which sometimes people claim) and there are many factors that play into their success. Using his family as an example helps show he really isn't trying to put anyone down with his arguments.

Outliers is an engrossing book full of logical but eye-opening arguments held up by great examples.

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review by . August 03, 2013
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review by . July 15, 2010
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Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
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review by . May 24, 2010
Is Malcolm Gladwell just stating the obvious when he says really successful people achieve their success through a series of advantages? He labels such people as "outliers," a use of the word not sanctioned by the English dictionary. He's not interested in run-of-the-mill kinds of success, but of really huge kinds of success, like Bill Gates or The Beatles. Let me begin by saying that I found this book fascinating, and made my way through its 285 pages rapidly, eager to see what was on the next …
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
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Quick Tip by . April 17, 2010
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review by . December 14, 2009
As many people at work were raving about this book I needed to read it for myself. I was a little reluctant at first because of some of the Amazon reviews saying that Gladwell culled information from a lot of studies and that the reader would be better served going to some of those studies themsleves.       Gladwell has done an excellent job of poring through mountains of data and presented many of these studies in a concise way that can be understood by any layman. Most of the …
review by . December 14, 2009
As many people at work were raving about this book I needed to read it for myself. I was a little reluctant at first because of some of the Amazon reviews saying that Gladwell culled information from a lot of studies and that the reader would be better served going to some of those studies themsleves.    Gladwell has done an excellent job of poring through mountains of data and presented many of these studies in a concise way that can be understood by any layman. Most of the …
review by . February 08, 2010
The common conception is that success is based upon intelligence: Orientals are more intelligent, therefore they excel in academics; the poor, living in slums, are not bright, therefore they achieve little or no success. Gladwell demonstrates with many examples that his notion is wrong.   Scientists have found that the people of Roseto, Pennsylvania, for example, of Italian descent, live longer than their neighbors or their Italian ancestors because they socialize, and the socialization …
Quick Tip by . December 10, 2009
Reading it right now based on so many of my collegues at work raving about it. After about 75 pages it rates four stars.
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Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question inOutliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outlierscan be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0316017922
ISBN-13: 978-0316017923
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Business & Investing, Health, Mind & Body, Nonfiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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